Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dear Ann Romney

Dear Ann Romney,

Hello! Recently you have been out in the public telling folks that you understand the struggles of women. Women in America that are not you.That you love the mother that has no choice but to work. Your quote does not seem any better in context. And yet, in your national tour, you still do not understand me.

You and me, we have some things in common. We are both women in America. We both suffer the indignities of living in a culture that is still short of valuing either of us as equals. We are both mothers in a culture that does not value the work of raising our young.

We have less in common than you think.

As a disabled mother, the culture questions whether or not I can be a good mother, or should even try. Disabled women are still, to this day, sterilized against their will, or forced to give up their children for adoption. We are often forced to prove that we will be adequate mothers.

As a poor mother, I am blamed for my poverty and told I was irresponsible to even have children. And no, you cannot understand how it feels to have the water shut off as you are drawing a bath for your baby, and wondering if you should skip the bath and save the water for making formula in case you cannot get your water access back. It was not as if I decided I would be a poor mom raising poor babies. That is not how it happens. You have not ever dealt with the indignatities of seeking out help, nor then tied to hide the fact that you are getting help from everyone else. Nor have you dis-invited someone from your home because in his fevered mind it was okay to sit in your living room and rant about welfare queens!

As a white mother, you, I and our children are granted privileges by society. But are you agonizing over making sure your children truly understood the consequences of race in America? Do you deliberately live in a non-white neighborhood so your children will be better adjusted regarding race than you were? Are you constantly working with them so that they are not more white blights on this society and culture?

As the mother of daughters, it is imperative that I teach my girls how to interact with a world that is hostile to them by default. They have to know how to recognize and deal with sexism when they see it. They need to know how our culture treats rape and rape victims. Do your kids need this armor?

As a bisexual mother, I am acutely aware of the bigotry that LGBTQAI kids face in their day to day lives. Mrs. Romney, do you ever wonder if your kids are going to get beaten over who they may love? Maybe you may share a few of my concerns as a poly mother, given your church's history on marriage. Hell, often people mistake polyamory for polygamy although one is simply uncommon, the other illegal.

You do not know what it is like for the state to screw with you month to month on how much medical care, food, or straight up cash you need to live. But you will tell people that it is too much. Living off of investment dividends is not the same thing. Just stop that ignorant nonsense.

We are what we are. There is no inherent shame in being born well to do and continuing with your well to do life. When you say that your experiences parallel the experiences of others you have never even truly seen, let alone spoken to - you are lying. And there is shame in that.

I do not know you or your life, and I do not claim to know. You, however, gleefully act like you are intimately familiar with my life, and I want you to back the hell off of it. 

Most sincerely,


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